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Digital Roll out in PNG an eye-opener

The mobile rollout of the mobile digital space in Papua New Guinea has been described as an eye-opening experience for Australian Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton.

Mr Coulton was part of the APEC trade and tourism ministers meetings held over the last two weeks in Port Moresby.

“I have been really quite enlightened over the last two weeks to realise that quickly the digital rollout is going across PNG,” he said.

“I have not seen so many advertisements for mobile phones as I have seen anywhere else in the world as I have seen in Port Moresby and there is obviously a revolution happening in the way people in this country communicate.

“Not only can they communicate with each other but they can communicate with anywhere within the world, and that has been a bit of the theme over the last two weeks to how people can take advantage of that and make sure they can use it in a positive way to sell produce and connect with customers and a whole range of things.”

He said the progress of digital communication in the country has been urged due to the geographical challenges faced by country.

“Telecommunications connection will probably be more important here than it would be in other places,” Mr Coulton said.

He said with the advent of the Coral Sea submarine cable, expected to be completed by the end of 2019, will provide just half of the opportunity before the country in ICT space.

“The challenge now is to connect PNG to that cable,” he said.

“We had a presentation from a young entrepreneur from PNG who is working on a rolling out a program through satellite and getting villages to use SMS through the satellite service.”

“I think the satellite technology and back down to that cable out of the country is really going to change things around.

“It comes with some problems with our social problems with young people connecting with mobile phones and some of the ability to sift through information that comes at you, information overload, but because of the positives you have got to embrace it.”
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